NEW DELHI -- India has reached 100,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, trailing only the United States and Brazil.
The Health Ministry says the 79,476 new infections raised the overall confirmed caseload to more than 6.4 million. The country’s toll is nearly 10% of the global deaths.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist government have been criticized for the handling of the virus and the contracting economy that’s left millions jobless.
Overall numbers show India’s urban districts have accounted for nearly 80% of the death toll, but health experts warn of a “slow burn” surge in the country’s vast hinterlands.
“India has an inadequate health system, which is lopsided and unjustly distributed,” said Dr. T. Jacob John, a retired virologist.
Public health experts say a disorderly lockdown, which led millions of migrant workers to flee from cities to villages, further complicated the fight against the virus.
Still, India is preparing to reopen cinemas and entertainment parks with limited capacity beginning Oct. 15. Health experts warn the move has the potential for the virus to spread during the upcoming religious festival and winter season.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.